Industrial IoT

Insights & Opportunities from AHR Expo and CMPX Show

4 min readThe (low but) critical transformation of the HVACR Industry Today, the HVACR industry [...]

4 min read

The (low but) critical transformation of the HVACR Industry

  1. Today, the HVACR industry is trailing in the IoT race – with vendors struggling to understand where to start and how to measure the ROI
    • Many manufacturers do not yet realize the value of sensor data
    • Most manufacturers have a limited data strategy focused on remote monitoring and control applications – in most cases the data remains with the customer, with access available only when permission has been granted. With this data approach, manufacturers cannot truly optimize the insights derived from their connected product data to (a) improve trucks rolls (b) reduce R&D spend (c) optimize product usage feedback insights to improve features (d) implement usage-based warranties (e) roll out new business models (ie: rent a boiler) etc.
  2. Isolated understanding – individual insights vs. aggregate insights
    • Most HVACR manufacturers attempting to build their own analytics platforms typically view their connected products as standalone with rudimentary raw data analysis and rarely benefit from the full understanding of the behaviour of their deployment
    • This is a missed opportunity – as manufacturers cannot optimize truck rolls across their deployment base, they are unable to identify trends, clusters, anomalies, etc, and also do not take into account geo-location and potential patterns across multiple product lines
  3. Contextual analysis – IoT insights in enrich data context
    • Contextual analysis is a great opportunity for the HVACR industry but many players are not integrating third party data sources
    • For example, companies like Tekmar develop smart sensor-based technology embedded under driveways and streets to melt accumulated snow, their value-proposition would be greatly bolstered by enriching with geo and weather data to anticipate snow storms and proactively activate the heating coils
    • This means manufacturers have an opportunity to differentiate their HVACR products with augmented data analytics and contextual analysis.
  4. Multiple players – a complex value-chain, many stakeholders for IoT insights
    • There are many stakeholders when it comes to distributing and managing HVACR systems.
    • Some manufacturers have their own maintenance network (must be a certified technician/partner) to service the product. Others are not concerned with the maintenance and leave it service professional. Some adopt the mindset “once it’s out of the warehouse, it’s the problem of the technicians”
    • Most manufacturers offer a limited warranty, whereby if there are any issues within the warranty period, it is handled by the manufacturer. Few (if any) offer usage/dynamic warranty services – this is becoming a new revenue driver.
    • This means that when presenting data-driven opportunities, IoT platform providers must understand (a) the manufacturer’s sales channels (b) their service policy and SLAs (c) their aftermarket offerings e.g warranty structure
  5. Beyond convenience & comfort – IoT seen as a tool to boost customer lifetime value
    • In the residential space – beyond convenience, consumers are adopting connected HVACR systems for peace of mind
    • The ability to (remotely) know your basement is safe when a big rainfall happens or the ability to know beforehand that your boiler is going to break due to sporadic usage etc. or never having to worry about a cold shower again!
    • It is becoming increasingly important to know the pain points/threats consumers face within each product category and analyze their usage data to cater to them effectively and proactively.
  6. Limitations to data-driven actions
    • Manufacturers with applications capable of remotely monitoring and modifying products often limit the control the consumer has
    • Because boilers, HVACR, etc systems are very complex and require the attention of a certified technicians, hence manufacturers do not feel comfortable granting consumers broader access to functions
    • The purpose of the data produced from a connected HVACR product will serve more of an informational source for the consumer and an actionable insight source for the technician or the manufacturer

The connected HVACR industry has the potential to transform the smart residential, commercial and industrial space as we know it. By harnessing the power of their connected HVACR product data, companies can build better products, proactively address issues, improve their operational efficiency and strengthen their competitive position. At mnubo, we empower several HVAC manufacturers with business critical insights from the data generated by their connected products, we’d be happy to share customer case studies and use cases with you, for information you can reach me at